What do you stand for? Three Words!

The erstwhile forefathers of pre-independence Africa such as Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo had clear cut vision and an unwavering message. You could always tell where they stood and their political parties reflected this ideology. The current trend across the continent is to engage in name dropping. A veritable recourse to politics of the past. Political parties like living organisms are prone to atrophy if they do nothing to engage the environment and evolve to survive. That is probably why Ahmadu Bello's NPC, Nnamdi Azikiwe's NCNC (and NPP) and Awolowo's AG (and UPN) are all deceased.

Perhaps the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and Kenyan's Kenya African National Union (KANU) have fared better by trying to engage with the polity and morph along with the society. I mean if they do not "stand for something they will fall for anything" as the saying goes. While ANC seems to move from strength to stregnth, KANU is increasingly diminished in reach and prestige after an initial 40 year run. At least KANU still exists you could say. Indeed the party is on the ropes but its rope-a-dope strategy buttressed by a recent name change (apologies to Muhammed Ali) to reflect "alliance" rather than "african" still has it on its feet. It is in light of this that the serial recourse to the name of the late Ikemba of Nnewi by different igbo political personalities is typical of the moral, economic and political death grasp of the continent at large. Now that the All Progressive Grand Alliance has two serving governors, it is time to harmonise the philosophy of the party, build bridges with their core electorate, deliver on electoral promises and institutionalise the party and its structure.

Is that too much to ask?

It just might be. Who can realistically say what any african party stands for? Nigeria's PDP, CPC, ACN, ANPP? Anyone? This general lack of direction is not restricted to Nigeria alone. How about Kenya's KANU or ODC? Ghana's NDC and NPP? Zimbabwe's MDC and ZANU? Perhaps a sentence is too much to expect. Let us characterise any of these parties with three words. Not a sentence, or a paragraph, or a Rorschach Test interpretation. Just three incy little words that tell the world what they stand for and that paint the picture of exactly how they will use political power. 3 words - that's all. How hard could that be?


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